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Cleveland, OH - Orthodox Man Builds Ohio Real Estate Empire

Published on: February 6, 2012 10:00 AM
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Chaim Schochet, a 25-year-old investment executive, controls roughly 2.8 million square feet of office space in downtown Cleveland. The Miami Beach native handles U.S. real estate investments for Optima Ventures, an investor group comprising U.S. businessmen and the principals of the Privat Group, one of Ukraine's largest business groups. Photo: Lisa DeJong, The Plain DealerCleveland, OH - Chaim Schochet is like many other 25-year-olds.

Married less than two years. The father of twin boys. A potential first-time homebuyer, weighing his native Miami Beach, Fla., against the low cost of living in the Midwest.

But Chaim Schochet is unlike any other 25-year-old in Cleveland.

He’s one of downtown’s largest landlords, an investment executive responsible for roughly 2.8 million square feet of office space owned by U.S. investors and the principals of a Ukranian business conglomerate.

In downtown Cleveland, he might be the most important guy you’ve never heard of.
Now Schochet (pronounced Show-het) has reluctantly agreed to step into the spotlight, participating in his first in-depth interviews since becoming the most aggressive buyer of buildings in the center city.


Since 2008, when Optima Ventures bought the chisel-shaped One Cleveland Center tower on East Ninth Street, Schochet has been its man on the ground.
Now Optima, a private company based in Miami, owns four office buildings here and a stake in a hotel—making the company a bigger player in the downtown office market than Cleveland-based real estate giant Forest City Enterprises Inc., according to data from local brokerage firms and regulatory filings.

Business associates describe Schochet as a hands-on operator, focused on understanding Cleveland and forging connections with key players in the city. In person, he’s shy. And restless, as if he’d rather be doing business than discussing it.

Continue to read at The Plain Dealer 

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 Feb 06, 2012 at 10:18 AM Benny Says:

Hatzlocha rabo!
You should be also be zoiche to become one of the biggest supporters of Torah and mitzvos!


 Feb 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM mommy Says:

Im so happy to see our yidishe kinder are making it the business world. Hatzlocha. But why make this public knowledge?


 Feb 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM Yitzchok Says:

To: # 2 You are 100% correct, there is a "brocho" in keeping these things quite.


 Feb 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Did he get a secular education because without it according to some you can't make money legitimate


 Feb 06, 2012 at 04:08 PM Anon Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Did he get a secular education because without it according to some you can't make money legitimate

I don't think anyone says you can never make money legitimately without an education. However, most people aren't fortunate enough to have a brother-in-law who founded a large real estate company and who can give them good jobs. For these other people, a good secular education certainly will help.


 Feb 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM KevinTheMevin Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Did he get a secular education because without it according to some you can't make money legitimate

Unless of course you are related to and funded by those directly involved with the 3rd richest guy in Ukraine


 Feb 07, 2012 at 08:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Sounds like 5 & 6 are just jealous. Rich people don't throw their money away or give it out to relatives to waste away. Chaim is immensely talented which is why he is succeeding.


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